Crypto Arbitrage

Crypto arbitrage allows traders to exploit inefficiencies in the market. It is a surprisingly simple concept with opportunities cropping up many times a day. Read on to find out the meaning of cryptocurrency arbitrage, its benefits, risks and the useful tools available to help generate profits.

Crypto Brokers

#1 - AvaTrade

Why We Chose AvaTrade

Regulated in five continents, AvaTrade offers a secure way to access crypto markets. There's a great range of digital currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, plus a crypto index. You can access competitive crypto spreads in the broker's wide choice of platforms as well as 1:2 leverage.

"AvaTrade offers the full package for short-term traders. There is powerful charting software, reliable execution, transparent fees, and fast account opening with a low minimum deposit."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Coins: BCH, BTC, BTG, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, DASH
  • Crypto Mining: No
  • Auto Market Maker: No
  • Crypto Spread: BTC <1%, ETH 2%
  • Crypto Lending: No
  • Crypto Staking: No
  • Platforms: WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM

About AvaTrade

AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for day trading, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

Pros

  • WebTrader is well-suited to beginners and features a strong suite of technical analysis tools and market research for day traders
  • The broker offers reliable 24/5 multilingual customer support with fast response times during testing
  • Day traders can access stable spreads and zero commissions with no hidden fees

Cons

  • A high $2000 minimum investment is required to use DupliTrade, which will be out of reach for many beginners
  • There is no ECN account with raw spreads
  • There’s an above-average $50 inactivity fee after three months, though this won't impact active day traders

#2 - eToro

Why We Chose eToro

eToro leads the way in cryptocurrency trading, offering competitive spreads and a fixed 1% commission, plus their own wallet service. The broker offers a vast list of 95+ tokens which is continually being updated. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more

"eToro's social trading platform leads the pack with a terrific user experience and active community chat that can help beginners find opportunities. There are also competitive fees on thousands of CFDs and real stocks, plus excellent rewards for experienced strategy providers."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Coins: BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DASH, LTC, ETC, API3, CRO, SKL, IMX, ADA, MIOTA, XLM, EOS, NEO, TRX, ZEC, BNB, XTZ, DOT, MKR, COMP, LINK, UNI, YFI, DOGE, AAVE, FIL, ALGO, ATOM, MANA, APE, LRC, ENJ, BICO, BAT, BNT, OGN, MATIC and many more
  • Crypto Mining: No
  • Auto Market Maker: No
  • Crypto Spread: BTC 1%
  • Crypto Lending: No
  • Crypto Staking: Yes
  • Platforms: eToro Web, CopyTrader, TradingCentral
  • Minimum Deposit: $50
  • Regulator: FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSA, FSRA, MFSA

About eToro

eToro is a top-rated multi-asset platform which offers trading services in thousands of CFDs, stocks and cryptoassets. Launched in 2007, the brand has millions of active traders globally and is authorized by tier one regulators, including the FCA and CySEC. The brand is particularly popular for its comprehensive social trading platform. Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in the UK and some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply. 76% of retail accounts lose money.

Pros

  • The copy trading app facilitates a best-in-class social environment, with an engaging social feed and community chat
  • eToro has bolstered its investment offering, most recently with new crypto assets, now offering over 90 digital currencies
  • The web platform and mobile app perform better in user reviews and app rankings than top competitors, including AvaTrade

Cons

  • There are limited contact methods aside from the in-platform live chat
  • The lack of additional charting platforms like MT4 will reduce the appeal for seasoned day traders accustomed to using third-party software
  • Traders will face currency conversion fees for account denominations other than USD

#3 - OANDA US

Why We Chose OANDA US

You can speculate on the world’s biggest cryptos by market cap. Commissions are lower than many peers starting at 0.25%. Through the broker’s partnership with Paxos, clients can spot trade cryptocurrencies on the itBit exchange through the OANDA native platform.

"OANDA remains an excellent broker for US day traders seeking a user-friendly platform with premium analysis tools and a straightforward joining process. OANDA is also heavily regulated with a very high trust score."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Coins: BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, PAXG, LINK, UNI, AAVE
  • Crypto Mining: No
  • Auto Market Maker: No
  • Crypto Spread: $100
  • Crypto Lending: No
  • Crypto Staking: No
  • Platforms: OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Regulator: NFA, CFTC

About OANDA US

OANDA is a popular brand offering exceptional execution, low deposit requirements and advanced charting and trading platform features. The top-rated brand has over 25 years of experience and is regulated by trusted agencies, including the NFA/CFTC. Around the clock support is available for short-term traders, alongside flexible contract sizes and automated trade executions.

Pros

  • The broker offers a transparent pricing structure with no hidden charges
  • Beginners can get started easily with $0 minimum initial deposit
  • Seasoned day traders can access industry-leading tools, including an MT4 premium upgrade and advanced charting provided by MotiveWave

Cons

  • There's only a small range of payment methods available, with no e-wallets supported
  • It's a shame that customer support is not available on weekends
  • The range of day trading markets is limited to forex and cryptos only

#4 - Eightcap

Why We Chose Eightcap

Eightcap’s crypto offering is best-in-class with 250+ crypto derivatives, surpassing that of almost every alternative. Testing also reveals Bitcoin spreads of 12 pips, coming in lower than most competitors, while it offers real-time trading ideas through the Crypto Crusher market scanner. Add in convenient deposits and withdrawals in digital currencies, and Eightcap offers the complete package for serious crypto traders.

"Eightcap delivers in every area for day traders with a growing selection of charting platforms and AI-powered tools. Now sporting 250+ crypto CFDs and the Crypto Crusher market scanner, it's also become a stand-out choice for crypto trading, winning our 'Best Crypto Broker' award two years in a row."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Coins: BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, XRP, XMR, DSH, EOS, XLM, ADA, TRX, DOGE, BNB, DOT, MATIC, VET, AXS, NEO, SOL, UNI, AAVE, KSM, THETA, CAKE, SUSHI, ATOM, XTZ, SNX, COMP, FLOW, EGLD, PUNDIX, RAY, ZIL, QTUM, BAND, OMG, FIDA, BADGER, NEAR and many more
  • Crypto Mining: No
  • Auto Market Maker: No
  • Crypto Spread: $12 (BTC)
  • Crypto Lending: No
  • Crypto Staking: No
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, TradingView
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Regulator: ASIC, FCA, xCySEC, SCB

Pros

  • Having excelled across all key areas for day traders, Eightcap outperformed more than 490 competitors to win our 'Best Overall Broker' award for 2024, also securing our 'Best Crypto Broker' title.
  • With tight spreads from 0 pips, low commission fees, and high leverage up to 1:500 for certain clients, Eightcap provides cost-effective and flexible trading conditions that can accommodate an array of strategies, including day trading and scalping.
  • After bolstering its roster in 2021, Eightcap offers one of the most extensive selections of cryptocurrency CFDs in the market, with crypto/fiat pairs, crypto/crypto pairs, plus crypto indices for broader exposure to the market.

Cons

  • The demo account expires after 30 days and can only be extended upon request - a notable inconvenience compared to the likes of XM with its unlimited demo mode.
  • Eightcap needs to continue bolstering its suite of instruments to match category leaders like Blackbull Markets with its 26,000+ assets, featuring a particularly weak selection of commodities.
  • In spite of an increasing variety of tools, Eightcap doesn't offer industry favorites like Autochartist or Trading Central, which offer cutting-edge charting analytics, live news, and market insights for short-term traders.

#5 - Uphold

Why We Chose Uphold

You can buy and sell 250+ crypto assets with fiat currencies or in crypto pairs using the straightforward mobile app or through Uphold's browser-based account homepage. This is significantly more than many rivals. You can also earn up to 16% APY by staking one or more out of 32 valid tokens, or send tokens to an external wallet.

"Uphold remains a top choice for crypto investors looking for a one-stop-shop solution to accessing the markets. There are over 250 tokens to buy, sell and trade through flexible platform options."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Coins: BTC, BTCO, AAVE, ALCX, DYDX, INH, XYO, API3, GHST, LSK, AUDIO, GLMR, NMR, CAKE, GODS, REQ, CHR, TRB, DAO, ROOK, XRP, ETH, BAT, ADA, ALGO, ATOM, AVAX, AXS, BCH, BAL, BTG, CSPR, COMP, CRV, DASH, DCR, DGB, DOGE, DOT, EGLD and many more
  • Crypto Mining: No
  • Auto Market Maker: No
  • Crypto Spread: Up to 1.5%
  • Crypto Lending: No
  • Crypto Staking: Yes
  • Platforms: Desktop Platform, Mobile App
  • Minimum Deposit: $0

About Uphold

Uphold is a digital asset platform offering a range of services, from crypto trading and staking to payment cards that provides rewards and easy multi-currency payments. The company was established in 2015 and has enabled $4+ billion in transactions. Uphold is now active in 180+ countries and deals in 200+ crypto and fiat currencies.

Pros

  • Over 250 cryptos are available including major tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Uphold continues to remain ahead of the industry, often being one of the first platforms to list new crypto tokens
  • Fees are competitive based on tests, with 26 underlying platforms helping to source the best prices

Cons

  • Uphold operates with limited regulatory oversight
  • The charting analysis features on the platform trail specialist exchanges
  • Customer service is slow based on tests, with limited contact options

What Is Crypto Arbitrage?

Cryptocurrency arbitrage is a specific form of financial arbitrage that capitalises on crypto volatility, liquidity and decentralisation. Arbitrage trading is a strategy that takes advantage of market inefficiencies and price differences across different markets and/or assets. Specifically, it looks carefully at the rates offered by exchanges to find ways to make a profit by quickly trading in a loop.

Different exchanges will have different numbers of buyers and sellers, different trading preferences and different specialisms. This helps ensure that some inconsistencies occur between spot rates for different markets or instruments, such as Bitcoin.

Crypto arbitrage

Types Of Crypto Arbitrage

Spatial Crypto Arbitrage

Perhaps the simplest and most common method is spatial arbitrage. This involves looking at one instrument on two different exchanges. If these exchanges list the crypto at different prices, traders can buy from the cheaper exchange and immediately sell from the more expensive one, instantly making money from the discrepancy.

The easiest way to do this is to buy, let’s say Ethereum, from one exchange, transfer it to another and then sell it. Unfortunately, this is inefficient, both taking extra time to complete the transfer and incurring additional charges.

To avoid this issue, traders can hold their fiat currency in one exchange and their crypto in the other. When the opportunity presents itself, the same buy and sell order can be placed at the same time across the two exchanges. This would give the trader additional fiat currency while maintaining the same crypto capital. This method performs trades without transferring from one exchange to another, taking less time and incurring fewer fees.

Triangular Arbitrage

Triangular crypto arbitrage is a little more complex, involving three trades instead of two, all of which are usually carried out on the same exchange. This method looks at three different cryptos, trading through each of them until you are back to the original asset.

For example, a trader might spot an opportunity in Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange rates. They could then exchange their Bitcoin for Ethereum, which could then be traded for Ripple and finally back to Bitcoin. If the spot rates are inconsistent, the trader could end up with more Bitcoin than they had initially owned, despite trading around a loop.

Flash Loan Arbitrage

A slightly trickier form of crypto arbitrage, flash loan arbitrage, takes advantage of the advanced technology behind altcoins and lending approaches. Flash loans are instant cryptocurrency loans that allow traders to borrow large amounts of digital coins without any collateral. This presents a lending arbitrage opportunity to take advantage of differences in interest rates by flash loan providers.

Other Arbitrage Methods

Arbitrage goes beyond the strategies explained above, providing opportunities to traders both inside and outside of the altcoin world. Crypto derivatives arbitrage works in the same way as those, though it uses securities and derivatives of digital currencies, rather than the tokens themselves. One method that is common among hedge funds is to buy cheap stocks of companies before a merger when the market is inefficient and unsure.

Benefits Of Crypto Arbitrage

Fast Profits

Crypto arbitrage stands above many trading strategies in how quickly profits are realised. Exploiting the price inconsistencies over such short periods means that profits are made as soon as the transactions and trades have gone through.

Opportunities

Cryptos provide a wide range of arbitrage opportunities. With over 500 exchanges and more than 4,000 cryptocurrencies around the world, the likelihood of altcoin arbitrage opportunities presenting themselves is huge.

Volatility

One of the reasons for the popularity of cryptocurrencies in the trading world is the consistently high levels of volatility they demonstrate, even Bitcoin, which has been around for over a decade. The decentralisation and proof systems of cryptos help to ensure varying levels of supply and demand, keeping volatility high. This volatility is great for crypto arbitrage, as the more that prices change, the more likely it is that markets will show inconsistent rates.

Crypto arbitrage volatility

Immaturity

The relative youth of cryptocurrencies and their development help create irregularities and disjointedness between exchanges as support networks are less well established. This increases the number of crypto arbitrage opportunities that are created.

Competition

While cryptocurrencies have shot up in popularity and fame, they are still traded significantly less than fiat currencies. This means that there is less competition for crypto arbitrage than there is for other, more popular financial instruments.

Price Differences

A major feature of crypto arbitrage versus regular arbitrage is the size of the price differences that appear. Digital currency inconsistencies tend to range from 3% to 5%, however, there are occasions when opportunities have been as large as 40%.

Risks Of Crypto Arbitrage

Regulation

While there are hundreds of crypto exchanges and thousands of currencies out there, some know your customer (KYC) regulatory restrictions may limit the number available to you. Some exchanges may require proof of identity or even an open bank account in that country before approving an account.

Fees

While it is a simple process to wrap your head around and try to calculate potential profits, fees could limit the profitability of arbitrage opportunities. Calculations should consider deposit and withdrawal fees, both in fiat and cryptocurrencies, as well as trading charges implemented by the exchange.

Security

While it is most profitable to store some assets on all your viable exchanges to reduce the overall time requirement, this can increase your security risk. Holding capital in many different wallets and accounts produces a larger risk of being hacked for at least one of them.

Volume Requirements

The relatively small profit percentages that are available with crypto arbitrage often mean that large amounts of capital are required for each opportunity to produce meaningful profits.

Crypto arbitrage volume

Timing

Crypto arbitrage opportunities are quick to appear and resolve. The short lives of these opportunities mean that traders must be on the ball to take advantage of them. This can be tricky, especially with the long transaction and verification times associated with crypto mining in some blockchains.

Crypto Arbitrage Bots

The need for low latency, calculations and trade placement can make crypto arbitrage a tricky business. Therefore, most traders have moved towards automated arbitrage, utilising bots (robots) and software tools to maximise their chances of success.

There are two routes that traders can go down with automated crypto arbitrage, purchasing a pre-made bot online or writing their own. There are many bots available on the internet, you may have heard of Dex Analysis. Each bot will have different specialisms and approaches, so traders should ensure they carry out detailed comparisons and fully understand the methods being implemented by a trading bot before entrusting their money to it. It is also a good idea to check reviews of arbitrage bots to check their returns are as stated.

For those Bitcoin traders who prefer to be more in control, all it takes is a little programming know-how and some time to develop your own bot. There are plenty of ‘how to’ guides and tutorials online for building trading bots and most crypto exchanges support APIs, which allow integration of home-written software. The development of a bot’s formula can be done relatively easily, with some capable of basing their actions on Excel spreadsheets and calculators.

Unfortunately, as is the way with all things, some resources online are a bit more malicious. Some trading forums, arbitrage signals providers and bots are attempting to take advantage of vulnerable traders. For example, the Crypto Arbitrage VIP software supposedly offers a 340% return, however, many reviewers have highlighted its illegitimate nature.

Crypto Arbitrage Software & Tools

Beyond the realm of automated trading bots, crypto arbitrage can be supplemented and aided with many other tools and pieces of software. Many companies offer a range of additional services, such as live charts, scanners and finders that monitor and screen opportunities, sending alerts to traders on helpful dashboards, such as the Telegram bot.

Crypto arbitrage can also be done without the use of a computer thanks to apps like Crypto Arbitrage Pro APK. These have in-built matrixes and calculators produced by experts that provide traders with a medium for checking opportunities wherever they go.

What To Look For In Crypto Arbitrage Platforms

An important consideration for prospective arbitrageurs is which platform would suit your needs. There is no objectively best crypto arbitrage website or platform, as every trader will have different needs, and there are many available.

While you could work over many general platforms, assessing profitability across several windows, this is a slow process. It is often better to find a platform that is connected to a range of platforms, allowing the much easier establishment of arbitrage opportunities.

Crypto arbitrage platforms

The top platforms will also support automated arbitrage, either with dedicated APIs to support external bots or even built-in tools, trackers and auto trading bots that come with the platform.

To maximise profits, especially given the small margins of crypto arbitrage, traders should search for a platform with a range of deposit and withdrawal methods, as well as low fees. This allows traders to withdraw raw profits, instead of having to exchange again for withdrawable currencies.

Final Word On Crypto Arbitrage

Cryptocurrency arbitrage is an opportunity for traders unlike any other. Traditional arbitrage has been declining with better networks and tighter regulations. The decentralisation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, however, provides consistent volatility and opportunity for those who know where to look.

Whether on a single exchange or over hundreds of them, traders can carry out crypto arbitrage manually or with the help of robots. However, care should always be taken when capital is at risk; ensure to read reviews, understand what is being offered and maintain the security of funds to make sure that profits are not jeopardised.

FAQ

Does Crypto Arbitrage Work And Is It Profitable?

Crypto arbitrage can work; its popularity is not baseless. It is important, however, to ensure that all fees are considered in profit calculations and to understand that there may well be times when the opportunity will close too quickly to be exploited.

Is Crypto Arbitrage Legitimate?

Many people doubt the legality of crypto arbitrage; however, it is perfectly legal as traders are simply capitalising on inefficiencies in the market. This is also beneficial as it helps to close these discrepancies quickly, improving the efficiency of crypto markets.

What Is A Crypto Arbitrage Bot?

Bots are pieces of software that are written to automate processes that would otherwise be time-consuming and difficult. Bots are generally written in Python for cryptocurrency arbitrage and can be found on the internet, sometimes even for free. Bots are especially useful for crypto arbitrage as there is such a small timeframe of profitability.

Where Can I Learn About Crypto Arbitrage?

There are many guides online that lay out crypto arbitrage, its various strategies and the algorithms that bots are based on. Some websites, like Crypto University, offer training courses, calculators and helpful YouTube videos.

Can You Carry Out Crypto Arbitrage In Nigeria?

Yes, crypto arbitrage is available in all countries with access to crypto exchanges, whether local or abroad. For example, a Korean trader could use the internet to assess an opportunity between exchanges in India and South Africa, so long as they can open accounts there.